If history teaches us anything important, it's that old manuscripts sometimes carry legendary things we should have experienced, but did not. Hence, when somebody suggests you should delete a bunch of old hits because, "If you haven't watched till now, you will never watch it anyway," take a deep, laboured breath and keep silent. In the era of movies like Grand Masti  and the likes, it's not easy to explain the reverence that the golden years of cinema calls for.

In no particular order, here are some movies from yesteryear that you should absolutely watch, if you haven't till now.

1. Alien (1979)

Full of suspense, less of dialogue and elements of gore to the traditional sci-fi tale all wrapped into this solidly made movie made it a grand hit. Also, as the lead was a hard assed, self reliant woman, which was a surprise as the expectation was that of a male protagonist who would kick major ass.

The movie revolves around the struggle of the crew, suspended in space, trying to protect themselves against an alien who intelligently plants its eggs in the host's body.

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2. Casablanca (1942)

This classic with a love triangle against the backdrop of war focuses on themes like lost love, honor, duty and self sacrifice. The conflict between a totalitarian state and democracy is shown in the efforts made by two men vying for the love of the same woman.

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3. Psycho (1960)

This movie is the stuff that legends are made of. Its convention shredding narrative which was introduced more than 55 years ago, still continues to inspire movie makers. It's genius how Hitchcock manipulates the audience into identifying with the luckless main character, and then the murderer of the main character. The shower scene became one of the most iconic scenes of cinema.

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4. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

It's the story of a non conformist anti hero. There are many who argue that the hero of this people pleasing movie Luke, is a messianic Christ figure who does not give in to oppression. It is also called a bundle of biblical innuendos and an anthem about of individuality.

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5. 12 Angry Men (1957)

A story of twelve jurors, all white, middle aged and of middle class status are called to deliberate upon a seemingly open-and-shut-case.They are all locked up in a room and have to deliver the verdict of guilty or not guilty. Also, this movie stands testimony to the fact that to make a good film, all you need is a gripping screenplay and excellent actors.

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6. Do Bigha Zameen (1953)

This movie throws light on how the condition of farmers has not changed much since 1950. Shambhu's (the protagonist) land becomes the central point of conflict as the landlord wants to build a mill, and Shambhu's property lies in the middle area of the land earmarked for the mill. The story is about all the tricks that are played on Shambhu, just so the landlord has his way.

Not a happy movie, but definitely one of Bollywood's most worthy classics.

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7. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

A $4.4 million effort (and worth every dime) that is today known as one of America's greatest films. Jack Nicholson plays the wise-guy anti hero, who either lives free or dies. The movie shows a mental asylum where the inhabitants do not question the status quo, until the arrival of McMurphy (Nicholson). It is noted to be a metaphor for the Soviet Union, and the iron hand it had over its citizens.

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8. Gone With The Wind (1939)

This one is considered one of the most enduring popular film of all time. The movie revolves around the female protagonist, Scarlett O' Hara who is on a quest to find love during the time of The Great American Civil War. It's about the love for one's own land. Scarlett returns to Tara, her ancestral land and it's the only place where she can even think of beginning again.

Contrary to legend, there was no fine paid for using the word "damn" in the the famous dialogue, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

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9. Double Indemnity (1944)

A tale of murder, corruption and adultery, this is known as one of the greatest classics of film noir. The story was a surprise to the audience and considered brazenly amoral at the time. The femme fatale housewife and her lover boy, a likeable salesman, plan the murder of her husband for lustful and financial gains because of the double indemnity clause in his insurance policy. But they fail. There is sharp dialogue delivery and unlike movies of the time it's about brutal crime and adultery.

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10. Shri 420 (1955)

This movie was a coalition of genres and emerged as more than a sum of it parts. It's a musical, comedy, drama, thriller and also ends up giving a social message. Sometimes, Hollywood tends to look bland in comparison to certain Bollywood movies. This is just one of those.

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11. Children Of Paradise (1945)

The fact that a movie as flamboyant and worldy could be made in the time of the Second World War is quite astonishing. Shot in Paris and Nice the set had to be moved between two cities and the designer and composer (who were Jews) had to work while hiding. The story explores the idea of truth. Four men are attracted to one woman who is called the creature of dark impulses. The networks of love and jealousy are so complicated, that it becomes impossible to cut through.

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12. Singin' In The Rain (1952)

To date, this remains the most celebrated musical of all times. This was solely made for filming, unlike the mass of movies that were adapted from Broadway plays. It's still loved dearly for its great songs, flashbacks and dances. It parodies with great wit the sound revolution of Hollywood when things were moving from silent to talkies.

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13. The Way We Were (1973)

Two star crossed lovers meet, fall in love and realize that they have to put up a fight on every step of the way in their relationship. Katie Molosky is left left-winged in her ideals and is wildly attracted to Hubbel Gardiner, the golden boy on the campus. Sparks fly, followed by a heartbreak that is equally palpable. Hubbel's, "I can't come Katie...I can't" that comes at the very end of the movie is the sum total of everything that the movie is about.

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14. Pakeezah (1972)

A beautiful courtesan runs away from her brothel with her lover only to flee from his family. On her deathbed she writes a letter to her lover Shahabuddin to come and take his daughter. The story revolves around the turbulent life of a courtesan, and how her daughter is finally able to escape the brothel. Pakeezah (the pure one) is the name to this daughter by her lover Salim. 

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15. Anand (1971)

This movie is known for the best performance that Rajesh Khanna gave in the span of his career. Anand (Rajesh Khanna) arrives in Mumbai to treat his lymph sarcoma of the intestine. During his stay in Mumbai he befriends people from various walks of life and knows only too well that his life has been cut short by the disease. It's sad and heart warming both at the same time.

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16. Aakrosh (1980)

You might just pull off the armrest in disgust and frustration, thanks to the screenplay of the movie. Written by Vijay Tendulkar it explores an oppressive state machinery and is drawn from a real life incident. We see violence, that further leads to even more violence but it's a means of avoiding humiliation. The movie plays with the tropes of the Indian caste system in a way no movie has before, which makes it an intense watch.

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17. Bobby (1973)

This movie established Rishi Kapoor as the lover boy of Bollywood. Based on the lines of Romeo and Juliet, Rishi Kapoor is the son of extremely wealthy parents and his love interest, Bobby is the daughter of his wet nurse. It had everything that became the talk in those days, starting from mini skirts to leather pants and over sized glasses. It's symbolic of the will of the Indian youth to move towards change. Bobby went on to become the cornerstone on which Bollywood teenage romances were to be built.

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18. Abhimaan (1973)

Subir Kumar (Amitabh Bachchan) has an avid female following who press the radio to their heart when his songs come on. He is very much aware and full of his success when he meets the shy and simple Uma. They fall in love and get married, and Subir wants Uma to have a career in music as she has a beautiful voice. The trouble in paradise begins when she outshines her husband in her career. As somebody used to admiration and not rivalry from the female community, this plays havoc on their married life.

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19. Dr Zhivago (1965)

The movie revolves around how the mundane is impacted with great events like the First World War and the Russian Revolution. The vast era that these two events covered are narrowed down to two people who used to be lovers, but the changing times have left them estranged. Many complained that the movie trivialized moments that were historic. But may be that's what it was all about. It's the sum of small things that lead to great events, isn't it?

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20. Arth (1982)

Exploring extra marital affairs as a trope has been a favourite of Bollywood. This movie sets itself apart with the depth that is given to each character. There is no anti hero, is what one feels by the end of the movie. There is the husband with a bloated ego, a wife who is left shattered and broken and the woman who suffers from schizophrenia. Each finds meaning of their after everything in their life falls apart.

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21. The Great Escape (1963)

During the Second World War, American and British flyers escaped a high security prison. The movie is based on this escape. There have been rumours that the movie is a factual description of the escape as it happened, but it was never confirmed. The movie is about the trials, courage and the audacity of hope. Also, there is Steve McQueen who delivers the role to the T.

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As the famous saying goes, the older the wine, the richer the taste. These are just a handful of movies that will only garner more appreciation as years go by.